2796 Tasting Notes


Got back from a special treat which was dinner at the Thai restaurant tonight. I had lemongrass tofu and mango sticky rice for dessert. The mango sticky rice was full of coconut milk and it was sooo good. I was very happy with the meal!

I thought I would have this shu puerh as my after dinner drink. On the whole, I am not terribly impressed with this one. Even when the color is quite dark it is lacking a bit in flavor and just seems to be a bit muddy with camphor. Nothing special in my opinion.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Blood Orange by Tea Forte
2796 tasting notes

Part of a recent tea flavored black tea sampler that I got from Tea Forte, which has gotten me to pretty much give up on Tea Forte as a company…

Anyway this is one of the better flavors in the bunch. It is very citrusy, with lots of tart orange, grapefruit and lemon myrtle flavor. It even stands up to soymilk okay (I was wondering if it would curdle). It has a slightly musty smell, in my opinion and also a slight bitterness. It does have oil of bergamot, which tends to not be my favorite flavor unfortunately. If you would like a really citrusy earl grey, check this one out. I’ll certainly finish the cup and the other samples, but I don’t think I will need to buy it anytime soon. I would have liked it better without the bergamot, I think.

Flavors: Bergamot, Blood orange, Grapefruit, Musty

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Maddy Barone

I believe that was one of the teas in my Tea Forte advent calendar. On the whole I was disappointed by them.

Maddy Barone

I just went back and reviewed my tea log. Apparently this is one I liked better than the others. Wonder what I would think of it now?


I would have liked this one better without the bergamot, but overall yes, disappointed is what I felt too.


You know, nearly every orange or blood orange tea I’ve tried has a musty-bitter thing going on. Must just be the nature of the fruit when you have to dry it…

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This is a beautiful looking mao cha tea, I posted a picture on my IG of the leaves:

I’ve had a couple of Misty Peak samples now and have found they are much more mellow and less bitter than most shengs out there. Especially for a young sheng, this is surprisingly downbeat. It is downright fruity, with notes of orange and apricot. A slight woodsyness, and palette cleansing slight bitterness that lingers in your mouth.

If you like strong, smoky tobacco and bittersweet shengs, this is not for you. It is more like the darjeeling of sheng teas; very elegant and fruity. I have to say I am thoroughly enchanted by this mao cha. Definitely a good one for relaxation and winding down as it doesn’t have a potent energy kick. It’s hard to believe this is a pu’er!

p.s. this is not available on the site anymore but the 2014 version is there

Flavors: Apricot, Peach, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Beautiful leaves :D



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drank Strawberry Oolong Tea by Teavivre
2796 tasting notes

This sample came from Teavivre a while back. I appreciate getting a free sample, so thank you.

This is a very nice green oolong that comes through with floral and buttery notes. I am also finding the strawberry flavor to be a bit weak. It really needs to be steeped Western style to get any strawberry flavor at all. Hardly any strawberry flavor is present in the 2nd steep for me. If you want a really strong flavored strawberry tea this is not the thing. I was expecting something slightly different from this. It’s ok but I prefer the fruit flavored oolong from Naivetea and Lupicia.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Supreme Red Robe by Vital Tea Leaf
2796 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon here, a nice wuyi oolong for the cold and foggy weather we are having.

After I broke my yixing dedicated to wuyi oolongs, I had to get another one, which is the blue one with brown accents you see here on this picture:

It’s one of my smallest pots and holds only about 4 oz of tea. My shu puerh is also pretty small, but these are the perfect size if you want to do gong fu brewing.

It’s amzing how fast these pots begin to take on the tea flavor. I was seasoning this using a shui xian and it already reminded me of the wuyi aroma this morning. THis is the first tea I’m actually tasting with the pot and it is doing a good job so far, I don’t really pick up a lot of clay flavor. This is a delicious red robe, very roasty with lush fruity flavors of plum and cherry. I think the yixing works so well for the wuyi oolongs somehow. Lovely tea, lovely pot, makes for a perfect afternoon… it was steeped for 8 times before it finally started giving up flavor.

Flavors: Cherry, Plums, Roasted

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I’m starting to feel like dan cong oolongs are not really my “thing” or maybe I just like my oolongs on the sweet and fruity side, which is why I like the Honey Orchid but seem to have problem getting into some of these other varietals.

So, I tried this in the store and I figured the Red Blossom folks would be the ones to show me how to brew this stuff properly. They used a gaiwan with about 2mg of tea in it and water around 190 F (but told me you can also use boiling water with this tea). We did a quick rinse of the tea and then short steeps. I found this to be on the light side with definite citrus-y orange notes that are subtle and build up on your palette over time.

Mostly we did 30 second steeps but also did one steep that was around 1.5 minutes. I was told if you steep it longer it can become astringent and drying but that’s how the local people like it.

I thought it was “just okay” and definitely wasn’t compelled to buy it. Maybe a dan cong connoisseur would appreciate this, but I might just give up on my experiments with them for a while. I just don’t get the appeal, but that’s ok. There are plenty of other teas out there for me. :)

Flavors: Orange Blossom

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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This is a super tasty high mountain Taiwanese oolong (and currently one of the only ones in my stash).

I feel like Red Blossom did a really good job of describing the notes in this one. It is super lush tasting! The tea liquor brews up a light green and has a wonderful cream note with hints of butter and intense fruit. I am getting mango and pineapple. I steeped it around 5 times in the gaiwan and it is still going strong but the fruity notes are a bit more present in the earlier steeps. It has a lingering finish that really coats your mouth after you’ve been sipping on it. I tried this in the store and it is definitely a treat. Great afternoon tea, really relaxing and the flavor makes me so happy! Loved it.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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So far I am not too crazy about this tea, especially not for the price I paid for it. Maybe I am partial to Mi Lan Xiangs, but I found this to be a slight bit on the boring side. I don’t think this tea is scented with osmanthus.

I steeped it up in the yixing this afternoon. It has a light, roasted flavor and a gentle floral aroma, which accounts for the osmanthus name, I guess. I tried it with some various steeping times, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and around 190F water.

I got some light fruit and floral notes but this isn’t anything special in my opinion. I know dan congs can be fussy, so I will keep trying to see if I can do something that makes it wonderful. With my next batch I will use boiling water only, a bit more tea and very short steeps to see if that makes a difference.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Another fussy Dan Cong! I can’t seem to get best out of them. I plan on getting some bamboo charcoal from Yunnan Sourcing on my next order (might not be for a few months) to see if that helps improve the taste. I wonder if just using a Brita filter would do it? There’s charcoal in there….


hmm, let me know if it works. Yeah dan congs can be fussy for sure but I think in this case maybe the tea is just boring, lol


This is a useful website: https://www.peonyts.com/brewing-phoenix-dancong-with-a-gaiwan/

Also I just read that some dan congs are not suitable for clay pots so I will try a gaiwan too. :)

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drank Ti Kwan Yin by Peet's Coffee & Tea
2796 tasting notes

The perfect tea to drink in my new yellow & blue yixing teapot!

I have been reading some of the other reviews and I don’t understand the low ratings but the average steeping time is also 4 minutes and 45 seconds which is way too long for a TGY. I also don’t think the baristas as Peet’s can really make a proper cup of tea with paper cups, t-sacs and hot water.

Anyway, I digress. I have been working on seasoning my new yixing and this is the pot I am going to use for TGY’s now. https://instagram.com/p/z-YKiMILQX

I used boiling water and then let the water rest in a glass pitcher for around 3o seconds before pouring it over the tea. I am using relatively short steeps of around 30 seconds.

This may be my favorite tea from Peet’s so far. It is oxidized nicely and the flavors that come forth are very soothing. I am reminded of roasted butter, sesame oil,apricots and mango. I don’t get a lot of floral out of this tea, but that’s okay with me. I really am enjoying the richness of it, it’s very lush and almost decadent somehow. Imagine if you poured some brown butter and sesame oil over a bowl of mango and apricot and you get the idea.

This is the only TGY in my collection at the moment and I’m so glad I picked a good one. I will thoroughly enjoy the tin.

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Mango, Roast nuts

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I love the pot!! gorgeous colours


thanks :)

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This morning I am sipping on this Long Jing sample from Teavivre.

I haven’t been drinking much green tea lately but I should really do something about that! For one thing my allergies are running amok and green tea seems to help. I think it may have something to do with the lack of rain around here but I seem to be waking up a lot with sniffles and congestion in the morning.

This is a really mellow and relaxing tea. It steeps up such a light color but has the classic nutty and mild vegetal flavors of a good long jing. I get an essence of sweet peas in this & It’s definitely a delicious cuppa. See previous notes for more details.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

try yunnan sourcing’s dragonwell :) its good too

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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